Spottings & Jottings nr. 93 - March 10th 2016
If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will
advise of any mid-week news please let me know
Oxfordshire advises dates for termination of Tendered Services
July 20th 2016 sees the termination of tendered service in the county with many services lost as a result.
Indeed the company has now produced timetables which are artistically rather nice and feature some nice artwork as can be seen above.
Stagecoach has applied some route branding on routes such as The Headington connect group and with its Gold Buses and Hybrids does give some contrasts.
Local companies have been slow in introducing 16
plate vehicles and probably the first is Stagecoach who have a new staff
transport based on a Ford Transit crew bus, a
12 seater L2 Medium wheelbase in white.
16 plate vehicles from further afield.
16 plate vehicles from further afield.
Abellio are taking delivery of a large batch of E200 MMCs and one of the first, 8846 YX16NZU, is seen on crew training
on Buckingham Palace Road on March 1st, a coup by Gavin Francis. There are some 17 new buses for the C10.
delivered to Orpington garage,
for an increase in the pvr on route 162 Eltham to Bromley.
For the East Kent fleet a new Scania N250UD leaves Alexander's works on February 26th taken by Gordon Scott.
This bus is one of four reported to be for Canterbury, YN16WVB, WVD, WVF and WVL in a batch of 30 with fleet numbers 15261 to 15290.
They are scheduled for delivery during March 2016 and are to Euro 6 standard.
Another recent event was the opening of a new depot in Swindon for
Stagecoach West. I was lucky enough to be asked to take one of the Oxford
Hybrids to the open day on the Sunday, February 28th and everyone enjoyed a
fine but very cold day at the new location. The company
Another recent event was the opening of a new depot in Swindon for Stagecoach West. I was lucky enough to be asked to take one of the Oxford Hybrids to the open day on the Sunday, February 28th and everyone enjoyed a fine but very cold day at the new location. The companyformally unveiled its all-new Swindon depot to the press and other invited guests on Friday (26 February), with local MP Justin Tomlinson ceremonially cutting the ribbon.
Stagecoach donates bus to school
Stagecoach have donated a Volvo Olympian S317CCD at the end of its working life. The bus has been given to Tower Hill School, Witney for use as a library. A lot of work on modifying the bus to its new role has taken place. The pictures show how well the bus is suited to its new role.
Amersham & District
The programme for 2016.
John Horsman writes
John Horsman writes "Here is a picture of the Saturday Red Rose journey through the picturesque Chiltern village of The Lee in case it is of any interest. The 177/190 routes are worked by Red Eagle during the week.
It is a favourite place to visit on running days also and is one of the Chiltern Ridge villages near Great Missenden.
The longstanding 394 route ran from Chesham to Great Missenden via a number
of Chiltern Ridges villages including Chartridge, Swan Bottom, The Lee, Lee
Common, Ballinger and South Heath. A useful route that was quite irregular.
As is common with such routes, it did change format over the years but was
most consistent in the 1960s to 1980s period with RF and then BN operation.
An excellent running day took place locally on 2nd August 2015, on which date the photograph of the RF at The Lee was taken.
On this date a T also operated the re-enacted 394 route, taken here near Chartridge and also at The Lee. One is posed near one of the last remaining old LT bus stop flags that must date from around the 1960s, but not unsurprisingly is now in poor condition! I understand that Ts operated the route in 1956?T792 in the village of The Lee on August 2nd 2015. Also attached is another running day photograph, this time of a BN at The Lee on 5th October 2014.
The current route 177 is a mere vestige of that operation, the photograph seen above having been taken on 6th February 2016. "
I hope this gives readers the encouragement to
enjoy the future events planned for 2016. Ed.
Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society
The Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society was formed in June 2010 and aims to provide an informal monthly social meeting in Oxford for those with an interest in buses. Meetings are normally held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month and normally take the form of a picture show with local and guest speakers. A small charge is made to cover the cost of hiring the function room and this is usually around £1 for members per meeting depending on numbers. For non-members a charge of £3 per head is made.
Tuesday 15 March at 7.15 p.m.
Graham Low will give us a talk on "the Buses and Coaches built by Eastern Coach Works - quality and variety",
illustrated with his own photographs.
the location of the meeting
The Tree Hotel
The restaurant is open well before the meeting and serves a wide variety of British and Indian dishes.
The Tree Hotel is about 5 minutes walk from bus stops on Iffley Road served by frequent bus service number 3 (jointly operated by Oxford Bus/Stagecoach).
For the walking route from the nearest bus stop, here is a MAP.
A detailed programme of meetings can be found at the following link and we hope many of you will attend future meetings.
When readers take copies of pictures from the OCBP site
Some of the contributors to this site have noticed that their pictures are appearing on e-bay sites selling such things.
Needless to say this is a theft of copyright and one which I deplore!
I would not wish to have to watermark photographs, thereby making them unsalable as such but if this practice continues I shall be left with no alternative. I am sure this would detract from the pleasure so many of you get from the OCBP.
May I please ask readers to do two things?
1/ If you see any photos on sale please let me know and where they are appearing.
2/ If you are someone who has copied and sold photos please desist as this is theft and I will have to take legal action against anyone found doing so.
The site is free to all readers and I pay a price to publish the pages which is not passed on.
Please respect those freedoms and I hope I may not have to mention this matter again.
The level of contribution to this page by readers, as ever, remains excellent! Thank you all.
Malcolm Crowe - Editor - OCBP - March 10th 2016
Observations and pictures
As ever Gavin Francis has been very busy with his camera in various locations and some of his London work is included below.
Gordon Scott as ever has provided some interesting pictures shown below.
McGills DAF SB250 Wright Pulsar ex Arriva London DW121 LJ05BNA now 6904 KFZ33 on X23 in Glasgow on March 6th.
McGills now operate some 400+ vehicles and took over the Arriva West Scotland operations sometime ago.
The first fleet of Volvo/Plaxton's, which launched the Amsterdam and Paris Megabus services, are now being cascaded to more mundane work in Scotland.
They are being repainted at Kings of Grangemouth and then will be used on various Scottish services.
53641 and 53643 are seen awaiting treatment and 53636 and 53637 are seen after completion and awaiting collection by the new operators.
The pictures were taken in February and March of 2016.
Graham Low writes
was briefly in Plymouth last week and saw various new buses including
Stagecoach Volvo B11R/Plaxton Elites on the Falcon to Bristol,
Stagecoach E40D/400MMCs in Park & Ride and standard livery, Stagecoach
Enviro 200MMCs in park &Ride livery, Plymouth Citybus E2oD classic in
new Green livery and E40D/E400s in the new Cornish Bus livery - this view
from the top deck of another bus! "
Graham Low will be speaking on “Eastern Coach Works - Quality and Variety” at the next meeting of the Oxford Bus Enthusiasts Society - 15 march at 7.15 p.m. at The Tree Hotel, Iffley.
And now on to the company news.
Ben Christie "
Arriva has developed its network around Wycombe and now includes the
new 34 service which is a Cressex Circular. This replaces their operation of
the PR1, now in the hands of rival Carousel.
Arriva has developed its network around Wycombe and now includes the new 34 service which is a Cressex Circular. This replaces their operation of the PR1, now in the hands of rival Carousel.
Since Carousel took over the 40 to Thame with a half hourly short
working to Stokenchurch I was of the impression that we had seen the last of
Arriva in Stokenchurch. Imagine my surprise, when coming out of Wycombe on
Tuesday evening around 1945, to see a DAF Trident working the 40 to
Stokenchurch. However, on checking, I see that the last two services in the
evening are indeed operated by Arriva. I suppose these are county tendered
services. You can see the timetable at the link below.
Since Carousel took over the 40 to Thame with a half hourly short working to Stokenchurch I was of the impression that we had seen the last of Arriva in Stokenchurch. Imagine my surprise, when coming out of Wycombe on Tuesday evening around 1945, to see a DAF Trident working the 40 to Stokenchurch. However, on checking, I see that the last two services in the evening are indeed operated by Arriva. I suppose these are county tendered services. You can see the timetable at the link below.
For those interested in the allocation of Arriva at High Wycombe, this can found in the following link which shows the three Optare Versa 1100s as now being at Derby, although very late news from another source suggest they are now back at Shrewsbury from whence they originally came.
There now follows a recent selection of pictures taken of Arriva buses.
Much more unusual was the use on March 1st of 4072, a training coach in service, on the 755 in London by Gavin Francis.
One wonders what passengers must have thought when boarding a coach with L plates on ???
month for Carousel with the new route to the Wycombe Coachway and an
increase in other services.
A busy month for Carousel with the new route to the Wycombe Coachway and an increase in other services.
The PR1 service is illustrated below and seems to be growing in
patronage. This will especially be helped from today, March 10th when the
new Waitrose opens opposite the departure point at the Coachway.
The PR1 service is illustrated below and seems to be growing in patronage. This will especially be helped from today, March 10th when the new Waitrose opens opposite the departure point at the Coachway.
Now I made an unforgivable mistake on last months' page when I referred incorrectly to 873-5 as being Citaros. They are of course Mercedes OC500Us and are noted as being very reliable and from a passenger point of view and excellent ride. They are also very snappy buses not known for hanging about.
Thanks to Nick Aris for his correction on the type.
I have quite a few pictures to include this month which are seen below.
Pictures by Malcolm Crowe.
Pictures from Gavin Francis101 leaves on the 740 to Uxbridge from the Eden Bus Station on February 11th.
111 is seen in Stokenchurch on the short working on February 26th. Seemingly these buses do not have a 40 blind other than that used on the Thame service !!
Also it is unusual to see a decker on these workings by Carousel.
A nice shot of an ex Stagecoach Manchester Alexander PS on a local working into Oxford taken by Gavin Francis on February 16th.
This was 20835 in the SC Manchester fleet. Latterly I believe this bus was with SC South based at Chichester.
The A6 was once the p[reserve of NEx owned coaches with a fleet of tri-axle Levantes, these days it appears anything goes.
Here Chalfont's WF63LTE is seen approaching VCS on February 17th by Gavin Francis.
From March 1st Skills took over operation of the 310 which passes through Oxford's Gloucester Green.
For a period of time Parks operated this route which was somewhat removed from their normal sphere of operation.
Towards the end of their tenure Elite NBW999 is seen leaving Gloucester Green for Bradford on February 25th by Gavin Francis.
Another operation to have seen a variety of operators is the Eurolines service to Amsterdam.
Now Kings Ferry with one of two VDL Synergy CH61-16DT EO3 WJ65EHU operate this route seen on March 1st by Gavin Francis
By now we should be seeing some new 16 plate coaches.
As can be seen from the Oxfordshire County Council link above concerning loss of tendered services Oxford Bus are marginally affected.
Fleet details and changes.
Wi-Fi fitted vehicles (150)
10067 10068 10069 10070 10071 10431 10432 10433 10434 10435 10426 10437 10438 10439 10440 10441 10442 12001 12002 12003 12004 12005 12006 12007 12008 12009 12010 12011 12012 12013 12014 12015 12016 12017 12018 12019 12020 12021 12022 12023 12024 12025 12026 15533 15534 15535 15536 15537 15609 15610 15611 15612 15613 15614 15615 15616 15617 15618 15619 15620 15752 15753 15754 15755 15756 15757 15758 15759 15760 15761 15762 15830 15831 15832 15833 15834 15835 15836 15837 15838 15933 15934 15964 15965 15966 15995 15995 15996 22761 22762 22763 22764 22765 28742 28743 28744 28745 28746 36763 36764 36765 36766 36767 36768 36769 36770 36771 36926 36927 36928 36929 36930 36931 36932 36933 36981 36982 36983 36984 37401 37402 37403 37404 37405 50261 50262 50263 50264 50265 50266 50267 50268 50269 50270 50271 50272 50273 50274 50275 50276 50277 50278 50279 50280 50281 50282 50283 50284 50285 50286
New vehicles for Banbury (route 500)
New vehicles for Banbury (route 500)
37401-37405 ADL E20D/ADL Enviro 200MMC (2015) B37F
New staff bus at Oxford:Registration number is MX16 XYM. Fleet number 93069
-It is a Ford Transit 12 seater L2 Medium wheelbase
Stagecoach Oxford 33463/4 both are now Withdrawn from Service at Diamond and stored at Kidderminster Depot as seen in Richard Sharman's picture below. These buses spent a short time at Oxford following the demise of RH Services.
Two Optare Solos transferred to Stagecoach South Wales, 47238 from Stagecoach Oxfordshire and 47285 from Stagecoach Yorkshire, are at Bulwark Engineering for component recovery and the remains will then be disposed of.
At Stagecoach Oxfordshire the Optare Solo on loan here was providing cover whilst rectification work takes place on the Optare Solo SRs. This bus has now returned to Optare.
Solo 47455 has remained at Banbury, although the S4Connect contract it was used on has now terminated. It is providing cover for the B7 route which is disrupted by major roadworks.
Banbury’s Dart SLF 34469 is currently out of service undergoing major engine repairs, whilst most of the service 500 route branding has now been removed from Enviro 200 36448.
Scania/Enviro 400s 15434/35 have transferred to Stagecoach South West and 15436-39 have transferred to Stagecoach South East.
MAN/Enviro 300s 22761-64 have transferred to Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire and are no longer part of this fleet.
MAN/Enviro 300s 22765-22771 have transferred to Stagecoach Yorkshire and are no longer part of this fleet.
Dart SLFs 33651/52/54 have been sold.
Optare Solo 47238
has been sold (see above)
Optare Solo 47434 has been transferred to Stagecoach West Scotland
Clarification on the allocation of vehicles to routes at Banbury. The information we have received is:
Dart SLF 200, 488, B5, B6, B8, B10
ADL E20D/Enviro 200 200, 488, B5, B6, B8
ADL E20D/Enviro 200MMC 500 (B5, B8, B10, 200, S4)
Scania/E300 (Gold) S4
Optare Solo B1, B2, B6, B7, B10, S4C
Route 500 branding has been removed from Enviro 200 36450.
Thames Travel has variety of liveries and perhaps the most significant is that used on Harwell Campus services with the connector brand. This also has its own timetable style as seen above.
Minister Andrew Jones used the UK Bus Summit in London to set out some more
detail about what will be in the Buses Bill.
He also said that the bill will not impose any particular arrangement on local authorities or on bus operators. Neither will it give local authorities “new powers to take bus operators’ assets, such as vehicles or land.
“Instead, the Buses Bill is an enabling bill. It gives local authorities new choices.
“Choices about how they can improve bus services in the interests of their residents, and, I believe, in the long-term interest of the bus industry too.”
He said the government is “plainly on the side of free enterprise” and “in favour of cutting red tape,” adding “there’s so much about today’s de-regulated bus industry that works well.”
He went on: “But it would be wrong to pretend that there’s no room for improvement. We only have to look to the streets outside this building to see how, in some circumstances, things can be done differently.
“And just as in London, passengers right across the country want Oyster-style ticketing, better access to information about timetables, better information on fares before they travel, and real-time data about when the bus is going to arrive at their stop.”
The bill will require all operators to make data about routes, fares and times open and accessible to allow app makers to develop products for journey planning.
The proposals also remove the requirement that a quality partnership scheme must always involve new infrastructure.
It will also introduce “new, enhanced, partnerships that allow local authorities and bus operators to agree their own standards for all services in their area — such as focusing on frequency and reliability along a particular route or transport corridor, or setting emissions standards to improve local air quality, or introducing common branding, marketing and ticketing rules over a wider geographical area.”
The most dramatic part of the bill will include franchising powers for local authorities, if they want it.
“I want to keep the good parts of the quality contract scheme process, which at least forces people to think things through properly, but I want to lose the parts which don’t work, such as the excessive cost, the bureaucracy and the second-guessing.”
He says that powers will have to be “accountable” and not disadvantage cross-border bus services.
“Everything in the
bill will be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny. So there’s plenty of
opportunity to shape the content.”
For my readers to more fully understand the current
rules regarding current DDA requirements I thought this piece might be
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has confirmed that it is actively pursuing operators that are not complying with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).
DDA compliance became mandatory for buses with a maximum gross weight (MGW) of 7,500kg or below and a carrying capacity of 22 or more passengers on 1 January.
Compliance is enforced by the DVSA.
Buses in this category require certification of compliance with the Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations 2000 (PSVAR). Any that do not comply fully with the regulations cannot be certificated, which is necessary if they are to continue to be used on registered services. “If operators are found to be operating buses without the required PSVAR certificate, then the matter could be raised with the Traffic Commissioner,” says the DVSA.
Guidance issued by the DfT also states that operators using a vehicle that does not conform to the relevant provision of the Regulations are liable to a fine up to £2,500.
Operators should be aware that the vehicle being low-floor and having a wheelchair ramp does not mean automatic compliance with the regulations, although both are necessary for certification.
Many early low-floor buses were built before PSVAR was agreed, and are not compliant. Issues for these vehicles are the size of the wheelchair space, positioning of handrails, and the lack of side destination displays.
Several other factors are considered, such as contrast between handrails and surrounding surfaces, ramp angle, wheelchair space provision, and provision of destination displays, meaning that vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz Vario are no longer permitted to be used on stage carriage services.
DVSA also enforces certificated buses’ compliance. “If buses with PSVAR certificates are found not to be in compliance – defects are listed in the – then a prohibition notice and fixed penalty notice can be issued,” adds the DVSA.
It is suggested that a number of operators are still using non-certificated buses with an MGW of below 7,500kg on local service work. The DVSA says the agency is “at the early stages” of three investigations into non-compliance with PSVAR. All single-deck buses used on stage carriage service must comply with PSVAR from 1 January 2016, and all double-deckers by 1 January 2017. Coaches on scheduled routes must be compliant by 1 January 2020. In all categories, vehicles used on ‘closed door’ contracts are not subject to PSVAR.
Manchester day out by Malcolm Crowe.
I enjoyed an outing to Manchester a few weeks ago and was able to visit the Manchester Museum of Transport and whilst waiting for my train home to Oxford, saw bus operations around Piccadilly Station. My pictures are shown below. I would like to thank Les Burton, my friend from those parts, for his hospitality on the day.
A particular favourite of mine is this 1929 Leyland Tiger similar to nr 33 which I an a friend drove from Manchester to Exeter back in the '60s.
Sadly 33 donated much to the superb restoration seen above.
An amazing find and one of the more recent additions to the collection is this 1934 Crossley, nr 436, which had its original body by Crossley
replaced in May 1938 by an MCTD Car works body carried today. Much works needs to be done but it certainly is a challenge.
The gentleman in the picture was making a fine job of hosting a young school group.
Far more up to date and reminiscent of the minibus era is this BeeLine Buzz Company Sherpa of which dozens hit the streets of Greater Manchester in the '80s.
I always loved the destination shown at the end of the day, "I'm buzzing back to depot"
On the streets of Manchester
It was a most enjoyable day and I would like to spend a little more time when I go again. It was my home area for 30 years but has changed out of all recognition now.
Paul Bateson in Canada.
Paul sent some most interesting pictures of some amazing coaches used in Canada for sightseeing. There are more items in the next issue on some ex Oxford buses,
Megabus in Canada by Paul Bateson.
History and questions
Eagle Coach Company
A reader recently asked about the Eagle Coach Company and Marcus Lapthorn says it was situated just off Park Road, Faringdon and the site was redeveloped for housing in the 1970’s. The area is still called Eagles. It was alleged that petrol from the coach company leaked into the cellar of the nearby Swan pub.
Andy Hunt asks if any reader has any details of the fleet used by this company established in 1917.
Gavin Francis writes
"During the week I saw Cobham's RLH 53 being
towed towards Wycombe on the M40. Happened to call in Binders Yard this
afternoon and there it was. I wonder if they no longer want it as they now
have RLH 48? "
Pictures by Gavin Francis
Pictures by Gavin Francis
New Routemaster overall wraps - a colourful London.
New Routemaster overall wraps - a colourful London.
Other company's vehicles.
Pictures by Daniel Doyle.
Picture by Malcolm Crowe.
Mike Penn's interesting web site for pictures
You might be interested to know that I have now uploaded 268 photos taken in Beds, Bucks and Herts in the year 2000 to my website - http://166emj.piwigo.com/index?/category/50-beds_bucks_and_herts_photographs_2000
One of the major events of the year was the purchase by Arriva the Shires of the City of Oxford operation in High Wycombe on December 13th. Two days later, as can be seen from the photographs, vehicles had received Arriva The Shires fleet names and legal lettering but retained their Oxford fleet numbers.
The other major event was the enforced sale of the Lutonian operation by Arriva the Shires.
Both Arriva The Shires and Arriva East Herts & Essex continued to repaint vehicles into Arriva livery though there were still many in previous liveries.
Elsewhere in the region M K Metro continued their policy of purchasing various interesting secondhand vehicles. Some of these came from Border Buses – the company in Lancashire that M K Metro had bought.
Buffalo Travel continued to run but Seamarks were taken over by Dunn-Line early in the year.
independents are also represented.